M&S are hiring a Principal Engineering Manager (Digital Capabilities)

💷 Compensation

Up to £130,000

📍 Location


💻 Technology

JavaScript React Next.js Node.js GraphQL Azure GitHub GitHub Actions Terraform Typescript Java Spring Boot Kubernetes (AKS) Kafka New Relic

Role accountability

We are looking for a passionate Principal Managing Engineer to help understand and interpret the strategic business objectives and deliver the required engineering and platform outcomes needed on the M&S digital platform and supporting teams.

Reports to Head of Software Engineering

LINE MANAGEMENT Software Development Managers and Software Engineers

The opportunity

A role within M&S Software Engineering means you’ll be joining a well-loved historic brand, working on a digital platform that serves millions of loyal customers and thousands of colleagues.

With ethical values that run right through the company’s core and technology leaders that truly understand software engineers and engineering, it’s an exciting time as we’re redefining into a digital first and engineering-led organisation, with the quality of our engineering team being a key differentiator.

M&S Software Engineering is a friendly, passionate and humble team, where everyone has a voice and is encouraged to contribute ideas and talk straight. You’ll get the opportunity to learn and grow, take true ownership, influence our technology and help us solve interesting problems for our customers and colleagues.

We have a genuine ambition to become engineering first, building and operating a world-class digital platform. We are looking for people to join our community of engineers to support this transformation, build a modern digital ecosystem using exciting technologies, participate in our hackathons and do the best work of their careers.

Area information

Digital Capabilities is a new area within M&S Tech to become altogether more engineering-led, more product-minded and more omnichannel as a business. More engineering-led because Digital Capabilities is home to our new repeatable stacks. They are community-owned tech products that are the key to modernising and simplifying M&S digital estate. More product-minded because — even though it is not particularly customer-facing being the back-office of our digital products — every technical artefact is treated as a product. Our cloud settlement, our gitops ecosystem, our observability stack, our SRE harness, our cyber-security tooling, etc. They are all data-driven assets striving for a market fit and a great developer experience. This is the department where the Site Reliability function is being matured at M&S. It is also where we structure our omnichannel strategy. We do this through a range of headless capabilities combined with a domain driven design.

Digital Capabilities is looking for its senior Engineering leader. This is what this role is about.

Key responsibilities

  • Act as the senior technical leader for all engineering and development responsibilities within a given portfolio
  • Set the technical direction and demonstrate active responsibility for the entire portfolio’s objectives
  • Support, develop, implement M&S Engineering talent strategy
  • Deliver exemplary people leadership
  • Cultivate self-management and accountability at the team level through servant leadership
  • Manage senior partners appropriately
  • Collaborate closely with senior management to create strategic objectives and organisational evolutions to better align business, product and technical opportunities
  • Ensure the engineering and platform development roadmaps and backlogs reflect the strategy
  • Approach and contribute to product planning and roadmap with an agile approach
  • Drive the delivery of the engineering roadmap
  • Spearhead a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement across the organisation to ensure scalability and long-term efficiency
  • Pro-actively seek relevant external insight, trends and innovations to ensure M&S remains best in class
  • Communicate regularly in writing and in speech to the entire portfolio and related business units
  • Build strong senior relationships with our partners ensuring seamless engineering capability across companies
  • Face into and resolve issues that may develop between the portfolio and other parts of the business or technology partners
  • Ensure software engineering costs for the portfolio are known, tracked and optimised
  • Form new teams with efficiency and set them up for long-term success
  • Line-manage, coach, mentor and develop Software Development Managers and Software Engineers
  • Demonstrate and champion pragmatism in terms of commercial delivery and software quality
  • Promote technology, values and ways of working within the team and wider software engineering community
  • Support Tribes, Fellowships and Orchestras with a focus on positive momentum and demonstrable value

Working together

You’ll be working closely with the Head of Software Engineering, with Commercial and Finance leads, the Chief Digital and Data Officer, the CTOs, and other Principal Engineering Managers.

You’ll be part of a leadership team which includes a Director of Product and a Head of Technology Solutions (programme delivery function).

Within these relationships, you will continuously review and improve our engineering strategy and manage the technology matrix available to our engineers within M&S Software Engineering.

How you will measure success

  • Role model with the ‘M&S Way’
  • Clear objectives that are often met (but not always)
  • Throughput, quality, stability and performance of the portfolio
  • Positive feedback from colleagues and partners, and seen widely as a senior inspiring leader
  • Frequent contributions to the critical thinking of the area
  • Efficient advocacy of evangelism and knowledge sharing within software engineering
  • Upskilling of direct line reports so that significant career growth is seen
  • Retention levels and overall Tribe and Fellowship happiness
  • Proficiency in influencing senior management
  • Effectiveness of partner relationships

Area tech stack

  • Azure Cloud
  • GitHub, GitHub Actions, Terraform
  • Typescript, Java
  • Next.js, React
  • Spring Boot
  • Kubernetes (AKS), Kafka
  • NewRelic

What you need to succeed

Critically Important Experiences

  • Solid background in software engineering with many years’ experience in a variety of systems and technologies
  • Proven track record in delivering, operating, leading, transforming, hiring and pivoting
  • Experience building and leading teams of highly skilled software engineers that deliver high-quality software
  • Strong understanding of system design, software architecture, cloud, and software engineering standard methodologies,
  • Advocate for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
  • Expert in Agile, lean and DevOps (you build it, you run it)
  • Good understanding of testing strategies and reliability engineering
  • Experience in working in a Product organisation and teaming closely with senior Product roles
  • Highly organised and able to manage multiple work streams, manage partners and expectations
  • Excellent people management, interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Significant track record of strategic and innovative thinking, as well as execution and implementation
  • Expert people and senior team management skills
  • Expert knowledge of the full software development lifecycle
  • Confident driving system design conversations, ensuring software system are being built correctly
  • Expert in technical organisations driving collaboration, autonomy and accountability
  • Ability to lead managers, engineers and technical partners to a desired outcome, without prescribing it
  • Rapid learner of technologies
  • Experience in data management and related programmes and architectures
  • Experience in supporting communities that are sustainable
  • Experience with the public cloud
  • Experience in building partnerships and dealing with vendors

Critically Important Attributes

  • A passion for all aspects of software engineering
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken and able to adjust for different audiences
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Acts as a driving force in the engineering community
  • Able to think and act both tactically and strategically, and derive from this thinking clear objectives for all
  • Humbleness, humility and honesty
  • Cares about the reputation of his teams, the business and the bigger picture
  • A leadership and ‘leads by example’ mentality that naturally takes responsibility
  • Naturally puts themselves forward for challenging tasks
  • Extremely delivery focused and takes pride in being reliable, and delivering high-quality product
  • A true servant leader with a ‘people first’ mentality to foster personal growth and self-management
  • Ability to self-start, self-manage and has a clear sense of purpose
  • Displays high levels of conscientiousness, tenacity and agility in their work
  • Able to influence people at all levels and from the highly technical to non-technical

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